/ / /

Here's Another Use for All Those Hotel Key Cards You've Collected

March 22, 2012 at 3:04 PM | by | ()

Welcome to Design Thursdays! This is our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walk-throughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know. Today, we have a special DIY EDITION!

We never set out to build a hotel key card collection. It just happened. We'd find these plastic cards in our wallets, suitcases, purses, laptop bags and sometimes our make-up bags, weeks and even months after our stay. Then we'd toss 'em in a drawer in our desk because we couldn't quite bring ourselves to trash them.

Soon enough, we started amassing a pretty big collection of key cards. And when we pulled out our secret stash, it became fun to sort through all the key cards, studying the designs (or in many cases, blatant ads) that covered them and reminiscing about the stay that went with them.

About two years ago, the idea came to us--wouldn't it be cool to put these hotel cards on display somewhere in our house? But we weren't quite sure how. We thought of framing them but struggled with the idea of little frames or one big frame.

At some point, we thought displaying the key cards under a glass table top would be the best way to go. But it took us a while to find the right piece of furniture and the right place to put it.

But then we moved into a new place earlier this month and the opportunity finally presented itself!

We had seen a cool furniture layout at Room and Board where a console table was placed behind a couch with two stools for extra seating and for folks to nosh while watching TV. But we didn't have a Room and Board budget (the Parsons table we wanted was about $1,000) and the table lacked a glass top. Yet we were committed to doing this layout in our family room/playroom. (Yeah, we have one of those now.)

So we turned to wallet-friendly yet still somewhat stylish Ikea. And there we found this Malm Dressing Table with a glass top.

After assembling the table, (all the pieces fit!) we started pulling out our key cards and figuring out a display arrangement. We decided to alternate lines of vertical and horizontal cards (depending on how the logo or ads were displayed) but admittedly, there are some vertical cards that are on a horizontal line simply because we didn't have enough horizontal cards (We did manage to sneak in a real hotel key from the Le Meurice though.)

We also had to use some duplicates. Despite what we thought was a hefty key card collection, it turns out we didn't have exactly 100 totally individual key cards. And again, the vertical/horizontal display didn't help either.

Still, when we lowered the glass top lowered down upon the key cards, we felt vindicated. Finally, our dream to display these key cards had come to life! And now every time we sit at the table (which is quite a bit) we can't take our eyes off the keys. Isn't it crazy that we can remember every hotel stay that goes with that key? Kinda like how we remember where we were sitting every time we've written a post here....

How do you show off your hotel key cards? Let us know in comments below!

Archived Comments:

Great Idea!

We supply the key cards and love seeing unique uses. We also have seen them used as a stand for a cell phone to watch video in your room!


And now I want!

i bet

I bet you sit there now and start telling hotel stories more often. Or at least reminiscing. I want one!